Systematics and Evolution (HA)
Computer identification tools for Australian Grevilleas
Grevillea (Proteaceae) is a predominantly Australian genus of 362 species (357 in Australia, 355 of which are endemic), or 452 taxa including currently recognised subspecies. The genus is conspicuous, ecologically important, of interest to a wide public, and of considerable phylogenetic, phytogeographic and conservation significance. The Grevillea Key aims to provide an interactive identification system for all the known native taxa in Australia, using Lucid software. It will include descriptive and diagnostic data, nomenclature, geographic and ecological information, illustrations, photographic images and maps for each taxon, presented as a comprehensive factsheet.
The completion of a Flora of Australia treatment in 2000, coupled with other recent studies, and various smaller papers, has made available a well-defined character set and scorable data for all taxa. Close to 200 characters were developed and used for the initial coding, with 45 of these identified as the best (‘best’ set) for diagnosing most species.
The Grevillea Key has been supported by a grant from the Australian Biological Resources Study (ABRS). It is still under development, and once finalised will provide a user-friendly means of diagnosing species. The end product is likely to be a web-based version and will provide scope for updating information.